Columbia College from A-Z (actually, W)
Below is a list of common terms used at Columbia College. Please look over the explanations, but remember that they are not all-inclusive nor is the list below. Also, the College reserves the right to change any policies.
Academic Skills Center
A program of the Department of English, the Academic Skills Center offers writing, reading and study skill development to all students. In addition, the Center encourages students to learn to use essential tools for academic success, such as a calendar, books, a journal, computer access, a good relationship with professors, and boldness. For more information, see the Academic Skills Center Web page.
During this time period, students may make changes to their academic schedule by registering for an additional course (known as an “add”) or by removing a course that is no longer wanted or needed (known as a “drop”) While these changes can be made after the semester has already started, they must be done within the set deadline. Otherwise, the student will be given a grade of “WP” (see Withdrawal from a Course) and refunds will no longer be available. The final deadline for add/drop changes every year and can be found on the Academic Calendar.
Columbia College awards credit to students who have passed certain AP examinations at acceptable level. The acceptable levels are listed in the Columbia College Bulletin under “Credit by Examination/Advanced Placement.” A student’s advisor will tell her which courses receive credit through Advance Placement. It is the student’s responsibility to make sure that the Registrar’s Office receives her AP scores.
When your daughter is accepted to Columbia College, she will be assigned an academic advisor. She will meet with this advisor at least once a semester to plan her courses for the following semester. Advisors help students stay on track to meet graduation requirements.
Alcohol and Drug Policy
Columbia College is a drug- and alcohol-free institution. Students, guests, and College personnel are expected to refrain from the use, possession, or sale of alcoholic beverages and other drugs while on campus. There are legal and disciplinary sanctions for breaking this policy. The College will provide ongoing programs in alcohol and drug education to inform students about 1) the alcohol and drug policy and 2) the impact of the use of alcohol and other drugs on individuals and on the community. Additionally, the College offers counseling and treatment assistance to students who may feel they have an alcohol and/or drug problem.
Columbia College Fighting Koalas compete as a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) in soccer, tennis, volleyball, and basketball (golf to be added in 2012). Try-outs for walk-on team selection are scheduled during the fall and spring practice seasons for each sports program. Scholarships are available to qualified student athletes. For more information, please contact the Director of Athletics at 786-3723.
Columbia College does not have a campus-wide attendance policy, and policies change from course to course. Each instructor’s attendance policies will be articulated in his or her syllabus. While there is no campus-wide policy, attendance of first-year students is monitored.
Career services for students and recent alumnae are offered through the programs and services of the Career Center. The staff assists students in developing career plans and making career decisions in a confidential and timely manner. Student resources include shadowing, internships, job listings, resume critique services, career publications and software, and self-assessment tools. In addition, several special events are held every year to introduce students to employers and graduate schools.
Columbia College holds Chapel services every Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. as well as a number of assemblies in College Place United Methodist Church. Attendance is required of freshmen, sophomores, and juniors according to the particular attendance policy for each class. Each class’ particular attendance policy is based on a point system. Points are earned for attending both chapel services and assemblies. Chapels are regular weekly services that are ecumenical in nature and reflect a variety of traditions and topics; they are worth one (1) point each. Assemblies are special campus events celebrating specific College occasions; they are worth two (2) points each.
Each first year student is required to earn sixteen (16) attendance points by the end of her freshman year. Each academic sophomore is required to earn eight (8) attendance points by attending the assemblies held during her sophomore year. Each academic junior is required to earn eight (8) attendance points by attending the assemblies held during her junior year. For seniors, attendance at Chapel services and assemblies is optional.
As a United Methodist college, Columbia College has a long-standing tradition of emphasizing spiritual values as a part of the total educational experience. A full-time minister, ordained by the United Methodist Church, serves the College as Chaplain. As a member of the Student Affairs staff, the Chaplain’s chief responsibility is to minister to undergraduate students, focusing on the particular needs that emerge at the college level. The Chaplain is available to students for spiritual counseling, support, and guidance.
Classification of Degree Students
Degree students are classified at the beginning of each semester on the basis of semester hours and grade points. Sophomores must have 24 Semester Hours and 48 Grade Points, Juniors must have 56 Semester Hours and 112 Grade Points, and Seniors must have 90 Semester Hours and 180 Grade Points.
Commuter Student Services
Recognizing that commuter students have distinctive needs, Columbia College offers a variety of specific services and involvement opportunities for this student population. The office of Student Activities coordinates special services for commuter students, and the Commuter Student Association organizes social events
for commuters and advocates for commuter needs. For more information, please refer to the Commuter Student Web page.
Columbia College provides and maintains five computer labs on campus for all enrolled students. Each lab has at least one network printer available to students with a valid user name and password. Printing will be monitored, and students are allowed a limited number of pages per semester. Additional pages can be purchased from the College. For more information about computer services, please refer to the Information Technology Web page.
The basic mission of Counseling Services is to assist students to define and accomplish personal and academic goals. This process involves discovering more about oneself, dealing with adjustment and behavioral problems, and developing toward a more satisfying lifestyle. Services offered include counseling and group sessions, crisis counseling, workshops, and developmental programming. All full- time day program students are eligible for these services at no charge; sessions are confidential and the highest ethical and legal standards associated with the profession are maintained.
After getting settled on campus, one of the next big steps for your student is buying textbooks. Professors will specify in the course syllabus as well as notify the bookstore what books are required for their course. The cost of one new book typically ranges from $25-$100, depending on the course. Keep in mind that used books are cheaper than new books! These books can be purchased at the C-Square Bookstore, as well as online.
In addition to selling textbooks, the C-Square Bookstore buys back used textbooks. Additionally, it is the place to find a wide selection of Columbia College insignia items, as well as an assortment of gifts, cards, school supplies, health & beauty items, snacks, and drinks.
C’sters represent the Office of Admissions and assist with the recruitment of prospective students. Members of C’sters host receptions, host students in their rooms for overnight campus visits, and give campus tours. In the fall, C’sters help first year students move into the residence halls.
Dean of Students
The Dean of Students serves as an advocate for students’ needs and interests and provides leadership for the Student Affairs staff. The Dean’s office coordinates a number of services and activities for students, including new student orientation, diversity events, and other co-curricular educational programs. The Dean works closely with the Student Government Association, student publications, and various leadership programs. The office also oversees non-academic policies and procedures. Essentially, the office of the Dean of Students is a resource for students, answering questions, solving problems, and promoting active involvement, engaged learning, and leadership of students in the College community.
The primary dining facility for resident students, the Student Union Food Court, serves 21 meals per week, cafeteria style, unless otherwise posted. Students living on campus may select a 21 or 15 meal plan (a 10 meal plan is available for seniors only). The 21-meal plan is required for all resident first year students. A valid student ID is required for admission to the dining hall. “Unlimited seconds” are provided at every meal, with the exception of premium entrée meals, and only one entrée will be served at a time. For more information regarding dining services, please contact the General Manager at 786-3056.
Columbia College provides an e-mail account for all enrolled students. E-mail accounts are set up by Computer Services and will be given out during Orientation. Those students who miss Orientation or register late must come to Computer Services with their student ID to get their e-mail address and password.
FERPA stands for the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974. This law protects the privacy of student education records defined broadly as those records, files, documents, and other materials, which contain information directly related to a student and are maintained by an educational institution. All enrollment, academic, and judicial records are protected under this statute.
FERPA requires that education records be kept confidential – even from parents – with the following exceptions: 1) with the consent of the student, 2) if the disclosure meets one of the statutory exemptions, or 3) if the disclosure is directory information and the student has not placed a hold on release of directory information. FERPA does permit colleges and universities to inform parents of students under 21-years- of-age of campus drug and alcohol violations, and beginning in fall 2004 Columbia College policy is to notify parents or legal guardians in the case of sanctioning for drug or alcohol offenses of students under the age of 21.
Students who choose for Columbia College officials to share their educational records with others must provide dated and signed written consent that specifies the records to be disclosed, the purpose of the disclosure, and the person(s) or organization(s) to whom the disclosure can be made. These letters of written consent can be mailed to the Provost at Columbia College.
Columbia College understands that the choice of a private college is a major decision and investment for most families and is dedicated to helping students and their families make attendance at Columbia College a reality, regardless of their financial situation. Both first year students and transfer students are eligible for a variety of financial assistance programs, including scholarships, grants, loans and student work programs. Because there are specific steps to follow with regards to receiving financial aid, it is best to contact the Financial Aid Office at 786-3612 for more information.
General Education Core
At Columbia College, each student is introduced to the liberal arts through the core curriculum, also known as the General Education Core. Included in this core, are a variety of core courses that will help provide students with a well-rounded education. These requirements can be found at the General Education Core Web page.
The Godbold Center is a multi-purpose facility. In addition to three dance studios and classroom space, it contains a Junior Olympic indoor pool with 1-meter and 3- meter diving boards, a fitness center, and a combination gymnasium/auditorium, which has volleyball and basketball courts and provides seating for 1000 for special events. Adjacent to the Center are six regulation-size lighted, asphalt tennis courts.
Grade Point Ratio (GPR)
In addition to individual course grades, the quality of a student’s work is indicated by her grade point ratio (GPR). Numerical values called grade points are assigned to each letter grade as indicated in the grading system. The grade points earned in a course are computed by multiplying the appropriate grade point value by the number of semester hours credit assigned to the course. The GPR is obtained by dividing grade points earned by semester hours attempted. Credit earned at other institutions and courses taken on a pass/fail basis are not used in calculating the GPR. For more information on GPR, refer to the Undergraduate Academic Catalog.
Graduating with Honors
Candidates for baccalaureate degrees who have demonstrated unusual scholastic ability will graduate with honors (summa cum laude, magna cum laude, and cum laude). Honor graduates must have earned 64 semester hours of graded course work at Columbia College.
Guest Policy in Residence Halls
Columbia College recognizes that visitation is an important privilege, which can contribute to living and learning in a community; however, this privilege comes with responsibility and cannot impede on another’s rights even within the stated guest hours. Female guests may visit residents at any time, but always within the guidelines determined by written roommate and suitemate agreements. Male guests have specific visitation hours, which vary depending on the residence hall.
Residents of traditional housing who want to host a visitor from off campus during guest hours must greet her guest upon arrival at the front door of the residence hall. To ensure the security of residents and their guests at all times, it is necessary for guests to present a picture ID upon entrance to the building. All guests must remain in the presence of their host at all times, and in addition, must enter and leave through the main door of the residence hall.
Columbia College is a learning community that fosters the pursuit of knowledge and the transmission of ideas within a context that emphasizes a sense of responsibility for oneself, for others, and for the society at large. As a community, the College is dedicated to both academic and personal excellence. For the mission of Columbia College to be realized, each member of the community is called upon to contribute in a meaningful way to our community of honor. The values of responsibility, integrity, respect, and compassion serve as the basis for the Columbia College Honor Code:
I. Every student shall be honor bound: A. To refrain from cheating, including plagiarism. B. To refrain from stealing. C. To refrain from lying.
II. Any student failing to abide by the Honor Code is subject to suspension or expulsion from the College.
Special features of Columbia College’s nationally recognized Honors Program include opportunities for participation in field experiences, cooperative study at other institutions around the world, and regional and national honors conferences through the National Collegiate Honors Council. The Honors Program emphasizes the spirited exchange of ideas in the classroom environment. For more information, refer to the Honors Program Web page.
All Columbia College students are issued a student identification card (ID). This ID is used to check out library materials, obtain reduced student rates at college events and theater productions, permit resident students access to residence hall front entrances and classroom buildings, and serve as the meal card for students on a meal plan. This ID must be carried at all times. Student identification cards are issued at registration without cost. If a student loses her ID card, she can have another one made at the Columbia College Police Department for a charge of $15.
Intramural programs to enhance the Columbia College experience are offered throughout the year. The Step Team, Rowing Club, and Equestrian Team welcome interested students willing to commit to a weekly training program. Opportunities are available for student-generated pickup games in softball and volleyball. Canoeing is available the first weekend of every month on Lake Murray. Outdoor adventures such as hiking, backpacking, rock climbing, and camping are offered throughout the year. For more information, call the PEHP Department at 786-3176.
Library – J. Drake Edens
The J. Drake Edens Library provides a broad collection of print materials, electronic resources, and media that supports the College’s liberal arts curriculum and professional programs. The library is open seven days a week, for a total of 84 hours a week. For hours, refer to the J. Drake Edens Library Web page.
Majors and Minors
A listing of all majors and minors offered at Columbia College can be found in the Columbia College Bulletin. Requirements very from major to major and once a student has declared her major, her academic advisor will provide her with a checklist that describes specific requirements for the chosen major. A student must take at least 12 semester hours in her major and at least one-half of the hours in her minor at Columbia College. However, minors are not required and students do not have to declare their majors until after their freshmen year.
The Math Lab serves as a vital resource for Columbia College students. The lab provides a supportive learning environment for all students who need mathematical assistance outside of the classroom. The Math Lab directors and student workers are available to assist students for numerous hours during the week. Students may use the Lab as a source for guidance with homework problems and class projects. The Lab also provides access to computers, calculators, and resource materials for student use while in the Lab.
Each incoming first-year student is assigned a Faculty Mentor. She or he serves as an advocate for the needs, interests, and rights of first-year students. The mentors aid in successful transition to college for incoming students, encourage involvement on campus, and mentor students’ academic, co-curricular, and leadership involvement. Additionally, they serve as a guide to campus resources for first-year students and help create an atmosphere of campus pride and connection.
Students may elect a limited number of courses on a pass/fail basis. A grade of pass will count towards graduation but will carry no grade points and will not be counted into the grade point ratio (GPR). It may be elected subject to certain criteria listed in the Undergraduate Academic Catalog.
Pearce Communication Lab
The Pearce Communication Lab is dedicated to advancing written and oral communication skills. Students are encouraged to visit the Pearce Communication Lab for assistance with communication classes or with any class that requires a presentation. The Lab provides students with the opportunity to perfect their public speaking skills before presenting a speech through one-on-one peer coaching and facilities that allow students to record, review, and critique their own speeches.
The Columbia College Police Department works closely with the Office of Student Affairs to ensure that programs and service are coordinated to promote campus safety. The Department consists of 13 police officers trained through the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy. Campus police patrol the campus and answer calls on a 24-hour, 365-day-a-year basis, both in vehicles and on foot. There is a minimum of two officers on duty at all times during the regular academic year. For more information on campus safety, please refer to the Columbia College Police Department Web page.
Columbia College maintains a post office to handle United States mail and intra- campus communications. Each student is assigned a post office box through the Office of Student Affairs. United Parcel Services (UPS) delivers and picks up daily at the Campus Post Office. Students receiving packages are sent notification via campus mail.
Quiet and Courtesy Hours
In consideration of others, students should be reasonably quiet at all times while in the residence halls. Courtesy hours are always in effect. It is the responsibility of all members of the residence halls to enforce quiet hours. Sunday through Thursday, quiet hours are from 9:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. Friday and Saturday, quiet hours are from 12 midnight to 9:00 a.m. 24 hour quiet hours are in effect during exam weeks.
Columbia College has a commitment to make residence halls more than just a place to live while going to school. A Columbia College education includes not only classroom learning but also becoming a part of a community in which each member gains an awareness of herself and how her attitudes and behaviors affect the individuals with whom she lives and interacts. All students are strongly encouraged to spend a portion of their academic career living in the residence halls. All incoming freshmen are required to live on campus though their sophomore year, unless a written request for exception is approved by the Director of Residence Life and the Dean of Students. For more information, refer to the Residence Life Web page.
Resident Advisors (RAs)
Each residence hall has staff members who are trained to provide a positive living/learning experience for resident students. The RAs are students who are chosen for their leadership and interpersonal skills. Living on the floors with residents, RAs serve as resource persons providing residents with programs and advisement on a variety of subjects ranging from personal and academic issues to conflict mediation and community development. Any community life questions or concerns should be addressed initially to the RA.
Resident Academic Advisors (RAAs)
In Asbury Freshmen Center there are undergraduate staff members who, in addition to serving as RAs, also serve as peer academic advisors. These students receive special training in the fall designed to help them address first year students’ academic concerns. The RAAs provide programs and tutoring to assist students in academic success, serve as a resource for students with academic questions, and provide opportunities for faculty and students to interact outside of the formal classroom environment.
Resident Coordinators (RCs)
Residence coordinators are full-time professionals who live in the residence halls and assist the Associate Dean of Students/Director of Residence Life with various aspects of residential life. Each RC supervises a staff of RAs, mediates conflict, and manages all aspects of his/her building(s).
In 1993, Columbia College implemented a policy of smoke-free buildings in all non- residential areas. A non-smoking policy was implemented for all residential facilities beginning Fall 2001. Designated smoking areas are located outside the buildings.
Sororities and Fraternities
Social/service sororities and fraternities are not approved for College recognized status for a variety of reasons. However, Columbia College takes no position on a student’s membership in social/services sororities or fraternities based at other Columbia-area colleges and universities. The student’s social/service sorority or fraternity participation is considered by the College to be an off-campus activity.
The Office of Student Employment helps students participate in the most beneficial work experience possible while at Columbia College. Currently there are three work programs coordinated through Student Employment. Two of these programs involve on-campus employment. For more information, contact the Office of Student Employment at 786-3993.
Student Government Association
The goals of the Columbia College Student Government Association (CCSGA) include unifying the student body through one shared system of self-governance, upholding the honor system, and promoting better citizenship by developing a feeling of responsibility and providing practice in democratic living. CCSGA provides a source of communication from the student body to the College administration, faculty, and staff, as well as external constituencies.
By enrolling in Columbia College, a student agrees to familiarize herself with and abide by the rules and regulations of the College. The Columbia College Student Handbook provides important information on school policies, people, campus activities, traditions, and organizations. The provisions of the Student Handbook are not to be considered an irrevocable contract between a student and Columbia College. Every effort has been made to provide current and accurate information in the Student Handbook. However, the College reserves the right to alter, amend, or abolish its rules, regulations, or policies at any time. Every student receives a Student Handbook at the beginning of the year, extra copies can be obtained from the Office of Student Affairs.
Situated in the heart of the Columbia College campus, the Student Union provides students with an exciting array of services and opportunities. Students will find what they need in the Union, whether they want to grab a cup of coffee or a fresh meal made to order in the dinning hall or the coffee shop, meet friends to play a game of pool, relax after a long day of classes in front of the big screen TV, study on the terrace, attend a student organization meeting or a Student Union program, or take care of student organization business. Staff at the Student Union Welcome Center located on the main floor can answer specific questions and provide individual assistance to Union guests.
The College offers a variety of opportunities for student to gain academic knowledge, work skills, and cultural experiences through travel and study in the United States and abroad. Among the variety of travel-study trips are semester study programs with the University of Angers in France and the University of Salamanca in Spain.
Surcies are a special way that Columbia College women show others they care. These small gifts can be purchased for special occasions or for no reason at all. Contact the Alumnae Office at 786-3645 for information on the surcie packages they offer.
The traditions of Columbia College connect students with the past as they prepare for the future. These special events bring students together to celebrate the unique relationships they form during their college years. Among the traditions are the Galilean Service, Graduation Communion, Ludy Bowl, Mom’s Day, Dad’s Night, Follies, Savory Award, and Junior Ring Ceremony. For a description of these events, refer to the Traditions Web page.
Work done at approved institutions other than Columbia College will be accepted at Columbia College not to exceed a total of 15 semester hours except for those students participating in the Study Abroad Programs or the National Collegiate Honor Council program approved by Columbia College. In order for a student to receive credit for work done at another institution, she must receive permission from her advisor, the department in which the credit will be awarded, and the Provost’s Office. A student interested in transient study should contact her advisor before registering for course credit at another institution while she is enrolled at Columbia College.
Properly licensed and insured vehicles may be operated on campus only if they are registered with the Columbia College Police Department. Vehicle use on campus is governed by the regulations provided by the Columbia College Administration and the Police Department. All vehicles must display a College decal.
Visitor’s parking is clearly marked and located throughout campus as well as in specified lots. Visitors may park in Lots A and B (corner of Columbia College Drive and Colonial Drive), Lot G (Colonial Drive), Lot I (Columbia College Drive), or city parking spaces. Visitors who park in visitor lots are not required to display a College decal or a temporary permit.
The Washington Semester offers Columbia College students an exciting opportunity that combines special academic coursework with a 12-week, custom-designed internship in Washington, DC. Each spring, select students participate in a semester-long study of women and public policy issues. This unique learning experience is highlighted by a 12-week practicum in the nation’s capital, arranged according to each participant’s area of interest. For more information, refer to the Washington Semester Web page.
Withdrawal from a Course
Following the add/drop period, students may withdraw from courses by completing a Withdrawal Petition, which is available in the Office of the Registrar. A grade of “WP” will be given for courses that are officially dropped before mid-semester, as well as for courses dropped after mid-semester because of medical reasons and family emergencies or by the judgment of the Provost. If a student withdraws after mid- semester for reasons other than those stated, a grade of “W” or “WD” will be recorded. Failure to withdraw officially from a course may result in a final grade of “F” or “U.” Refunds are not applicable for course withdrawals at any time during the semester following the add/drop period.